Percy Tau and South Africa Feeling the Weight of Expectation Before FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Percy Tau and South Africa Feeling the Weight of Expectation Before FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at November 15, 2023 at 3:44 PM
In this article:
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
  • Percy has joined up with the squad for South Africa's two FIFA World Cup qualifiers
  • He has spoken about his personal ambitions and expectant South African supporters
  • Bafana Bafana play Benin and Rwanda before the African Cup of Nations in January

South Africans have ridden a wave of success and want that to continue. Eager to deliver, Percy Tau is setting his sights on one last run to reach FIFA's grandest stage.

The Witbank-born forward sets his personal goals high but knows the South African public are a set of fans with little mercy.

Percy Tau, South Africa, Bafana Bafana, 2026 World Cup.
Percy Tau insisted that he and his teammates are eager to live up to the fan's expectations and reach the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America. Photo: @Sbn_za.
Source: Twitter

South African football lovers have become used to the national team not living up to expectations but still hope that one day they too will have something to celebrate.

With the success of the World Champion Springboks and the Proteas reaching the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup, the nation has turned its attention to Bafana Bafana's track record.

The failure of having not qualified outright for the FIFA World Cup in over 20 years is not lost on Tau. In a pre-game interview, IOL quoted the Al Ahly player as saying:

"I would love for us to qualify for the World Cup because I know what it would mean to us as a country. For all the young boys who will be able to say that I saw South Africa play at the World Cup. I want to play at the World Cup and we need to qualify for these major tournaments."

With mental health in sharp focus, iDiskiTimes quoted Tau's thoughts on online negativity.

"People tend to forget that you are also a human being with feelings and emotions, that stuff does get to you. You try and look at what they are saying, is it really about me or trying to be negative about the situation? Mentally it is hard.”

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Hugo Broos selects squad for Benin and Rwanda

Sports Brief recently reported on Hugo Broos' 23-man squad selected for the first 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Belgian manager included uncapped Bradley Cross and Oswin Appollis, who will hope to make their debuts.

South Africa play Benin in Durban before travelling to Kigali to face Rwanda, but have an eye on winning AFCON.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.
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